Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


1. Was Wesley opposed to the institution of slavery? Or is that merely myth, because he only opposed the horrors of the slave trade? The reason for this question is that many eighteenth-century persons were greatly opposed to the slave trade, but had no moral difficulty with the institution of slavery.

2. If he opposed slavery, was it the abuses that troubled him, or did he reject the philosophical underpinnings of the institution itself?

3. What is truth and what is myth about Wesley's contemporaries, such as his friend John Newton, author of Amazing Grace, and known as the "converted slave trader?"

4. Is it myth or reality that Wesley's position was supported by Coke and Asbury on the American scene?

5. And finally, was Wesley's influence on the ending of slavery truly significant, or is that myth?


Originally published in the Wesleyan Theological Journal, Vol. 41, Number 1, Spring, 2006.